Mental Block

July 20, 2006 (LBO) – Trade union action at Sri Lanka’s main harbour entered its 10th day Thursday, despite a court ruling to restrain striking workers. The government urged striking union workers belonging to Sri Lanka Ports Authority to resume work despite union allegations that the Colombo District court order issued Wednesday is yet to reach them.

Officials also dismissed union demands for higher salaries, saying port workers are some of the better paid employees in the public sector.

“It is unfair for the workers to ask for bigger salaries when a driver at the port earned around 100,000 rupees last month,” cabinet spokesman Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told reporters.

“We urge the workers to resume work at the Colombo port and continue the dialogue with relevant government officials for a salary increment,” Yapa said.

Sri Lanka Shippers Council President Dayanath Perera says import and export trade have come to a standstill while around 30 ships berthed outside the harbour pose a security risk to the Colombo port.

“We are losing millions every day, from productivity to loss of business. We urge the government to resolve this pr